participating in the orange curtain 100k was a unique experience. from the race website: “the orange curtain 100 km race has been created for the purpose of preparing and qualifying southern california athletes for international competition…” (obviously not the reason i decided to run this race). the course couldn’t be a better fit for that purpose: flat, short, repetitive. it fosters complete focus. a 10k, ten times. it helps runners keep track of splits and stay on pace. and if you’re not going for a qualifying time… well, then you’ll experience the ever mysterious brain decay.
nutrition/hydration: it was very hot, so i made sure to drink plenty. and to take my electrolyte pills. two per hour, as advised by a dear friend. which i later found out to be too much… but hey, i lived. the aid station was abundantly stocked with the usual ultra chow, and more. i didn’t eat much, though. i just couldn’t. due to the scorching heat, my stomach was much happier on fluids only. i did take a few honey stinger gels.
pain: 90% of the course had an adjoining dirt path, but i chose to stay on pavement. i pretty much started hurting at about the marathon point, mild, manageable pain. i was very sore but still fine after 50k. the longest i had ever run on pavement. beyond that it just kept escalating with every additional mile banked. by 75k i was reduced to a miserable, slow, painful walk. finishing that lap was sheer agony.
body vs. mind: upon completing 80k i totally bonked. big time. my racing, euphoric mind couldn’t think of anything else but going on for however long it would take me, and finishing that race. but my stiff body just wouldn’t respond anymore. i told the rd i was calling it a day at that point, and got an official 50k finish time of 6:47:35. geez, not even a pr! i had been running for the past 11 hours 44 minutes and 17 seconds, covering 49.7 miles. this time my mind was ok, but the body bailed out on me. in twin peaks, the body was just fine, but my mind made me drop at 38 miles. is there a state in which either can go on, in spite of the other? there must be. i’ll dig deep until i uncover it.